Eye Witness News
CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape is proving to be a big hit with domestic tourists.
More than two million South Africans visited the province last year, which is 17% more than in 2015.
Domestic tourists spent R2,5 billion in the Western Cape last year.
Officials believe that tourism could be the key to faster growth and job creation in the province.
Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde is taking steps to make this a reality.
“We will now do the analysis to show what the jobs numbers are looking like and show that it’s also key to what we’re trying to achieve.”
The MEC adds 2016 was a phenomenal year for Western Cape tourism, with substantial increases recorded across the board.
“This is a result of, amongst others, the decision we made to put tourism front and centre through our Project Khulisa growth strategy. When we put Project Khulisa together, we believed that tourism held huge potential to unlock accelerated growth and job creation in our province. We put dedicated teams, and a dedicated programme of action in place to realise this potential. Next week we’ll be providing a full analysis of our tourism performance to date, and we’ll be reporting back on our achievements in terms of creating growth and jobs in this sector.”
International drawcard events like the Killarney International Raceway’s World Rallycross Championship and a leg of the World Rugby Sevens Series will be hosted in Cape Town later this year.
Meanwhile, tourism, trade & investment promotion agency Wesgro says that recent SA Tourism data emphasised the importance of this sector.
Wesgro Chief Marketing Officer Judy Lain says the latest South African Tourism data underlines the strength of the tourism sector as an economic driver for the Western Cape.
“It talks to the work done to bring large conferences to Cape Town. On the leisure side, the hard work done by the team on the domestic side to bring those numbers up.”
Key figures from SAT’s report include:
• In 2016, 1.5 million international tourists travelled to the province, a year-on-year increase of 18.5%
• Foreign tourist spend grew by 21.6%, increasing to R18.1 billion
• Domestic tourism arrivals reached 2.1 million, up 16.9% year-on-year
• Domestic tourists spent R2.5 billion, a 24.3% increase from the previous year
PHOTO: The V&A Waterfront seen in Cape Town. Picture: freeimages.com